You’ve emailed your customer multiple times, and nothing, still nothing. It’s painful, you can feel the customer getting closer to the dangerous churn zone, but you can’t seem to get a hold of them to chat or even schedule a call. This tends to happen a lot, customers get busy and they start thinking of you as a burden because they don’t see these calls as a priority.
If this isn’t anecdotal to you, you might want to reevaluate your strategy. Was the last QBR a letdown, leading the customer to put your calls at the bottom of their to-do list? Are you emailing them too often and drowning your important emails in a sea of spammy check-in notes? There is still time to reframe your approach, but first things first, you need to get this customer on a call. Below are some useful tips to get unresponsive customers to finally get back to you.
Tease Them With Your Product Roadmap
If your customers care about your product, they’ll be curious about new features, and they’ll want to be in the know about long-term product roadmaps. There’s nothing like a sneak peek to make a customer feel special.
Alex Turnbull wrote a whole post about how Groove achieved a 68% response rate on product updates. In short – they made it personal. By keeping track of all feature requests, and notifying each customer personally when something they’d been asking for was released, they not only got a lot of replies, but they were also overwhelmingly positive:
If you think your accounts are too small and your approach too tech touch to do this, check out Customer Success Management tools that allow you to automate emails through customer segmentation (like Amity). You’ll realize white glove customer success at scale is a whole lot easier than you might think.
Never underestimate the power of positive reinforcement. You’ve probably heard of this concept in the context of team management and leadership: employees perform better when they’re congratulated and thanked for doing something right. As a Customer Success Manager, think of yourself as managing your customer and trying to entice behavioral change in the way they do their job.
When reaching out to an unresponsive customer, find something they did recently that can be acknowledged. It can start from something small like a profile update to a contextual metric like publishing their 100th blog post, to an outcome metric directly linked to ROI.
Ty Magnin of Appcues wrote a piece on the power of getting users “Psych’d” during onboarding. The idea of getting users excited through positive reinforcement isn’t limited to one-to-many in-app onboarding and can be applied to one-to-one engagements as well.
Most people(…) evaluate each step as either A) engaging, or B) not engaging. They don’t think of each step as building or subtracting the emotional energy of the user.
-Ty Magnin, Appcues’ Blog
Use Marketing To Make Them Feel Special
Okay, I know this seems counterintuitive. If a customer isn’t replying to your emails, you wouldn’t want to write a case study because they probably don’t qualify as an advocate. There are other, more personal ways to make your customer feel special.
First, are they doing remarkable things in their fields? Think about featuring them in industry profiles. A quick profile that highlights “badass marketers” or “innovative product managers” seems like an opportunity not many would turn down. Being recognized as a leader in their field will help your key contact in their careers.
If you think it’s too early or your marketing team can’t bake this in their content strategy, consider asking for the customer’s opinion about a topic and feature their quote in a blog post. Roundups are great pieces of content marketing, and you’re essentially doing the work for your Marketing department. You can also ask the Marketing team what they have in the content pipeline and reach out to your customer to get their input (under 50 words) on the topic.
Make It Incredibly Easy For Them
If your customers drag their feet and don’t reply to your emails, reevaluate the way you’re communicating with them. If trying to book a meeting, be specific with your language and minimize how much work the recipient is expected to do. Set up a calendar link with a scheduling app and let them pick a time amongst multiple options you’ve pre-selected.
Ask closed-ended questions with a yes or no answer. Don’t ask the customer to do anything, simply focus on getting that call scheduled. Another language tip is to avoid sounding like you’re giving them much of a choice. Think about it – which of these prompts are you most likely to follow:
“Would you like to jump on a call” OR “it’s about time we caught up, let’s jump on a call this week. Pick a time on my calendar here”?
Don’t assume your customer has time for you – they’re the center of your universe, but the opposite isn’t always true (ouch).